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Championship Manager (Champ Man) is a video game, typically played on a PC, but also available on the PS3 and XBox. Unlike the FIFA and PES franchises which aim to simulate football via a highly interactive real-time 3D simulation, Champ Man aims to emulate the beautiful game in the form of an Excel spreadsheet.

Championship Manager Coverart

In Championship Manager, real world players are represented by faceless arrays of numbers from 1-20. Players are able to deal in the transfer market and train up exciting young prospects from having Stamina: 12 all the way up to Stamina: 15. Teams of statistics then play against one another, while Mark Lawrenson quality commentary scrolls across the screen. Occasionally the commentary will flash in an epilepsy inducing fashion to announce "GOAL SCUNTHORPE UNITED!!!!" causing the player to punch the air in elation, only to violently punch the keyboard seconds later when it is inevitably followed by "But it's been disallowed!"

All this trawling through figures might sound more like secretarial work than fun, however, for no fathomable reason, managing Real Mallorca to Champions League glory on Championship Manager is more addictive than pure crack cocaine.

Championship Manager predicting real life[]

The creators of Champ Man employ a vast array of scouts throughout the world in order to accurately model players of all levels from La Liga all the way down to the League of Wales. These scouts not only gauge a player's current ability, but also their future potential. Occasionally they will predict the emergence of brilliant players well in advance. Examples include:

  • Lionel Messi
  • Wayne Rooney
  • Sergio Aguero
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Lionel Messi
  • Carlos Vela
  • Arjen Robben

Championship Manager legends[]

Unfortunately, for every Messi, there is another player where the creators were well wide of the mark. Some of these players merely went on to become mediocre, others went on to be builders. Either way, it never fails to bring a smile to fans of the series' faces when that young player they virtually groomed to virtual stardom randomly appears for the opposition in the first round of the UEFA Cup. Examples from this nearly endless list include:

  • Kevin Street - midfielder who was almost guaranteed to turn into an England international. Real life hasn't quite mirrored his virtual meteoric rise, since Street currently plys his trade at Altringham.
  • Leo Fortune-West
  • Cherno Samba - godlike striker capable of scoring 100 goals in a virtual season. Apparently he was really good as a 13 year old, scoring 132 goals in 32 games. Only scored 1 goal in England, dropping down the leagues until he was finally sold to Finnish side FC Haka, where things didn't really work out.
  • Taribo West
  • Seth Johnson - in Champ Man he could have had Technique: 20, Passing: 20 and Flair: 20. In real life most of his stats would probably be in the single digits, apart from Overrated-ness: 20, Greed: 20 and Being Shit: 20. Was one of many ill advised signings that contributed to the financial implosion of Leeds United.
  • Kim Kallstrom - midfielder who seemed able to score from just about anywhere on the pitch. Not that bad in real life, but he's not that good.
  • Pretty much any young Swedish player seemed to turn out to be at least Premier League quality
  • Freddy Adu - according to Champ Man he will one day be better than Pelé. Has a lot of catching up to do if that's the case.
  • Ibrahima Bakayoko - guaranteed at least 30 goals and 30 assists a season. Barely managed that in his entire club career. Did score a boatload of goals for the Ivory Coast though.

Football Manager[]

Due to some annoying legal wrangles, the original Champ Man makers lost the rights to the name Championship Manager. The series then experienced a split more significant than the Great Schism of 1054, with the original makers continuing the series under the name Football Manager. 'Championship Manager' continues as a sorry excuse for a game.

However, in the same way the Europa League will always be the UEFA Cup and the Coca Cola Championship will always be Division One: Football Manager is still known by the footballing world as Championship Manager.